Hi folks, I’m Renee and I am a recovering spend-a-holic. My husband Tom and I have paid off over $90,000 of debt in the last 7 years and I wish I could say there were major student loans in there, but there weren’t. We just sucked that much at managing our money. We downsized our house 3 years ago (check out the full story) and then we got seriously intentional about paying off our debt. Using the Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball we paid off $6,000 in 6 months. Now we are able to see the finish line of our debt that seems never ending and I wanted to share with you the total truth about how I really feel about debt payoff after 3 intentional years.
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I’m going to be honest with you guys. Generally I plan my posts out ahead of time. I think through what I’m going to type up, make a plan, and re-read or change things. This post I typed up each heading in about .5 seconds. These debt payoff thoughts are exactly what is on my mind every. single. time. I think about debt payoff. Things are about to get real.
When I was 8 my mom told me not to say, “this sucks.” One of my friends said it all the time and my mother felt it was wildly inappropriate and she’s probably right. But, for today guys, I’m just gonna be totally honest and say debt payoff sucks.
It sucks the life right out of you. When you are intentionally putting every single extra dime you have toward bailing yourself out of debt you start to feel drained beyond belief. How did I stay in debt for years and happily make massive monthly payments on things I didn’t really even need? Ick.
Once you set your mind to paying off debt you will go through times when you are highly motivated and feel like you can take on the whole world. Other times you want to throw a 2 year old style temper tantrum in hopes that someone just pays your debt off for you.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m currently in the latter state of mind. The temper tantrum state of mind. Unfortunately, I’m not a toddler so I have to be a big girl, rise above and dig myself outta this mess.
I want my money back
Writing up that previous post about how we paid off $90,000 of debt made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I mean, seriously. $90,000!?!?!? Why didn’t someone stop us?
I have spent hours just sitting around imagining all of the better places that money could have been spent! Savings, retirement, college funds, vacations, down payments. Do you know how much my house payment would be right now if I had $90,000 put toward a down payment?! It wouldn’t be very much, let me tell you…
That post made me angry. It lit a fire in my belly. It’s probably the reason I spent an entire week eating donuts and pizza.
I want my money back! Who took it away? — Me! I took away money from myself.
Yes, part of this debt was student loans. Most of this debt payoff was too big of car payments and jacked up credit cards with no other purpose than to supply me with useless items that I couldn’t even name.
Helpful debt payoff posts:
- We Started Tithing During Debt Payoff and it Had Nothing to Do With the Church
- The Benefits of Living On One Income While You Pay Off Debt
- How to Stay Motivated When Debt Payoff Gets Hard
- 10 Steps to Stop Using Credit Cards and Finally Get Out of Debt
Did I really waste this much money?
How in the wide world did I spend that much money? I would come home from shopping and think I got a great deal on clearance rack clothes. When I would march in the house I would say things like, “All of this was only $50!” –No, no, Renee…it was $50 with interest! If you bought nothing you would still have $50.
Sure it wouldn’t have been so bad if $50 was all I had on my credit card. But let’s not forget about the $50 the month before, the $100 for dinners we didn’t budget for and the $2,000 we spent on souvenirs when we were on vacation. Yes…we charged up around $2,000 to take a vacation. Purchases included Starbucks every day, M&Ms and alcohol. All wise decisions, am I right?
It’s hard to even fathom that I made these terrible decisions and now I am left un-doing what was done.
We will never catch back up
This thought is one that I know isn’t true. We will absolutely catch up, we will build up a smart savings and keep ourselves out of that kind of debt forever. I know we will.
But right now, it doesn’t feel like it. When I set aside $1,000 to put toward debt payment and Tom tells me he needs new tires on his car and mine needs work too I want to tell him he’d better start Flinstoning his ass to work because we need to pay off our debt.
Really…who needs new tires before a tundra-like winter in Minnesota? What a baby.
How are we ever supposed to get ahead in life? Paying cash for things feels impossible most days.
You’re telling me I’m supposed to only spend money that I actually have?! Well, that sounds like a big ball of no fun.
Yes, I’m so thankful we can pay off our doctor bills when they come. Sure, I’m so thankful we don’t have to scramble to find money for new tires. But when will it end?! End the madness, please.
Can we just sell our house and start again?
Tom and I sat around strategizing how to get more money to just throw at our final debt payments (that I feel like I have been paying off for 700 years.) How can we come up with a quick $10,000? It can’t be that hard. Really.
Honestly part of me thinks, “Let’s just sell everything else that we own. We can live with lawn chairs and a canoe like they did on Friends.” Tom didn’t seem totally on board with this idea.
We already sold our kitchen table, read all about it in my post, 39 Crazy Things We Did to Get Out of Debt on One Income. Clearly we’re ok without a kitchen table. May as well toss in the couch, dressers, beds and TVs while we’re at it!
What am I even working for?
You may or may not have seen me smiling away and chatting all about how I have started to make thousands of dollars each month from blogging. It’s great isn’t it?
Not when ever single penny I earn goes right back toward the debt I racked up over 3 years ago. That feels pretty un-cool.
When I see other people growing their business, investing in advertising or visiting amazing conferences in Florida I want to scream.
Don’t get me wrong, I invest back in the blog, I think that’s the best way to make money. But most of what I make ends up going right toward debt.
This makes me so frustrated that I feel like giving up on debt payoff all together. Do you have any idea how many tropical, all inclusive vacations we could have taken this year if it weren’t for debt? So many. So many.
I will never do this again
This is the kicker. The absolute best part of this entire post. So if you read this whole thing and thought, “Man, this girl is a real complainer.” Just wait, I’m getting to the good part.
Feeling all of these negative, self defeating emotions can do 2 things for you in life:
- Make you totally give up
- Make you rise to the occasion, learn from your mistakes and never dig yourself into the same hole ever again.
I will never do this again.
Why would I voluntarily put myself through this slow form of torture? Certainly not for a pair of shoes. Not for a car. Not even for a week long vacation in my bikini with a margarita attached to my hand. No thank you to all of that nonsense. That was the old me. The new me knows better.
If you are full-swing stuck in debt payoff mode like me, I hope you can relate to all of this. If not all of it, I hope this last one resonates with you. Don’t ever do this again!